At Readers.com, we love a good, can’t-put-down book — or maybe even a whole library full of them. From fan favorites and must-read lists to up-and-coming authors, we’ve interviewed the greatest literary enthusiasts around. So what exactly is on their nightstand? Read on to find out, and be sure to check back regularly for the latest page-turning talk. 

Do you have a child or grandchild in middle or high school? Make sure they read these classics before graduation — and be sure to catch up on these, too, if you haven’t already read them. At Readers.com, many of these books bring back vivid memories of grade school English class!

The following list was handpicked and reviewed by YA book expert Jon of Scott Reads It … so you know they’re absolute must-reads!


1984 by George Orwell is one of the best classics ever written, and when I read it, it gave me goosebumps. This book presents the reader with such a terrifying dystopian world; the scary thing is that this book is still relevant today. After the government scandals of late, it is important that people keep reading 1984 because there will always be some sort of Big Brother in the world — and it’s society’s job to stop them. Another reason to read 1984? It is the most significant dystopian book ever written. Without 1984, I doubt The Hunger Games or any of the other dystopian books that coat bookstores’ shelves would exist.

To Kill A Mockingbird

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee is often recognized as the best book ever written, and it is easy to see why. This book has historical significance and is packed with such raw emotion. It’s filled with important themes about growing up, racism, empathy, and more. To Kill A Mockingbird is one of those books that make a lasting impact on your life and forever change who you are. Harper Lee is truly a literary genius, and I believe that everyone should read TKAM at least once in their life.

The Outsiders

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton is one of the most well-known books for young adults. The characters that Hinton created are one of a kind and truly memorable. Who could ever forget Ponyboy and his struggle against society and himself? The Outsiders is an emotional, poignant book that is simply a must-read! In my opinion, the book is much better than the classic ’80s film, and I would highly recommend reading it. Be sure to have a couple of tissues next to you (or maybe a whole box of them?) when you read The Outsiders.

The Book Thief

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak is one of the most well-written books I’ve ever read. Markus Zusak created such a heartbreaking, original book, and it is unlike anything I’ve ever read! Millions of people have read The Book Thief — seriously what are you waiting for? This is a literary masterpiece, and it’s now an incredible movie. The Book Thief is a life-changing experience that will break your heart a thousand times over.

A special thanks to Jon for curating this collection of YA must-reads for us! Have suggestions on other YA classics you remember reading in school? Let us know on Facebook! #booklove

Image source: goodreads.com